Saturday, July 26, 2008
I want to be effective and used of God? In light of Scripture do I know what I am asking for? Isaiah 53 says that it pleased the LORD to bruise him, his soul was made an offering for sin. One cannot offer 10% of their soul, it is all or nothing. His soul was made an offering. Not a wave offering, not a praise offering, not a first fruits offering, but an offering for sin.
If Isaiah 53 is taken in context of Christ offering on our behalf, it is a sobering thought that the Only Beloved of the Father, the Son of God, was put to grief and bruised by the Father.
Because Christ fulfiled the pleasure of the LORD, He will see the travail of His soul and be satisfied with the product of His effort. The product is us! Through the pouring out of His soul, His being numbered with the transgressors, intercession for sinners and baring the sins of many, we are accepted into His kingdom because of His sacrifice. What humility! What love!
It will take an eternity for me to comprehend what He accomplished on my behalf during His time of travail, mockings, scourgings, and obedience to the death; even the death on a cross. To live among men for 30 years, be baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, then led into the Wilderness to be tempted of Satan; led there by the Spirit of God, none the less! As He learned and was being pressed as an olive in an olive press, He knew that a man cannot live by bread alone, but by the word of God. Isaiah 53:11 says by His knowledge He shall justify many. As do we, He learned obedience through the things He suffered. All the while, learning and suffering without sin; bearing our iniquity.
Truly, as the Song of Songs (1:1-3) says, because of the savor of His good ointments, as He was pressed beyond measure; His name is an ointment poured forth. As He draws we must run to Christ our King, and be brought into His chambers as the days of calamity befall us. Draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Current events confirm that His time of visitation is at hand.
We have been tried. We are being tested. Our faith will go through the fire. In the process every purpose of the LORD will be performed (Jeremiah 51:28). He sits in the heavens and observes the sons and daughters of men. He looks for those who have a heart for Him. Christ's sacrifice will not be wasted; He died that many would be saved.
Our mighty King did not pour out His soul to no avail! We are purchased with a price; a price beyond comparison or measure. The ointment of His sacrifice will be savoured throughout the Ages to come. Don't let the enemy try to convince us that we have failed, that we will not make it, that God is mad at us! It's a lie! Don't fall for it! Believers have been purchased with a price. The Father saw the travail of Christ's soul and was satisified! Satisfied! Satan is a liar.
In the time of our visitation, may we be found full of faith; no matter the circumstance. We live by His faith! It is His faith! It is His sacrifice! He is called Faithful and True! It is His will that we enter into His presence with fullness of joy. The joy of the LORD is our strength. Even as sorrows fill the earth we can have great joy that we are saved, we have been bought with a very heavy, heavenly price. NONE, no principality, no power, no devil, no evil, no doubt, no event, no fear can snatch us out of the palm of His hand. Of this fact we are most confident!
Have a wonderful Sabbath thinking upon and searching for Him! He is near, even at the door!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
"The voice of my Beloved! behold, He cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My Beloved is like a roe or a young hart; behold, He standeth behind our wall, He looketh forth at the windows, showing Himself through the lattice."
In my walk with Christ I desire intimacy with Him. I desire seperation from the world. As the Song of Songs infers, there is a place hidden from everyone where the Beloved meets His loved one and they enjoy intimacy in all of its forms. This is where a relationship begins, develops and grows. Christ for me! But what if I desire to never leave the place of intimacy and wait there for Him to enjoy His presence all for myself? Is this fair to a lost and dying humanity I am in contact with every day?
Everyone I meet is searching. Most are lost and do not know which way to go. Is it possible to be converted and to know the value of His death on the cross, without knowing how to apply it to my everyday life? Yes, I believe this is possible. Imature or new Believers only realize what the LORD has been TO THEM! They have the LORD, but the LORD does not yet have them. Christ FOR ME is my cry; I am not yet wholly for Christ and His purpose in my life.
I concentrate on the voice of my Beloved. He is mine! He comes leaping upon the mountains and skipping over the hills. Mountains and hills in a Biblical sense represent trials, tribulations and obstacles in our life. He won complete victory over every trial, tribulation and obstacle through His death and victorious resurrection! His victory is our victory! There is power in the resurrection life and He wants to get me out of the secret place to share the victory with the lost and dying. They will see the victory over trials and tribulation in my life as I walk in His life. People will see and want this victory in their lives. Truly, a living sacrifice for God.
He is risen! We are in Him! He has defeated all foes! He leaps-there are no hindrances. The wall He looks behind is the wall of seperation I have built to shelter myself from the world. He begs me to "come away with Him"! He and I can leap and skip over every difficulty I face. There are victories to be won, souls to influence and save, mountains to conquer. I must not be like Peter in Mark 9:5 when he wanted to settle in and built three taberancles and dwell therein, when at the bottom of the mountain were lost souls and a dying world.
I must remember Christ's perspective. He is here for me. He died for me. He loves me. He is coming again for me. But He also has a job for me to do; to be His witness in the middle of what may very well be a social tornado in these closing days of time. He will not be imprisoned behind my wall; He must move! I must move with Him. Communion and victory go hand in hand. One feeds off of the other.
I must not look inward, selfishly all of the time. This is my tendacy. I must start looking at Him; following Him. If I shut up the LORD in myself only, I shut Him out of the world that surrounds me. His presence is with me no matter my surroundings. Andrew Murray said, "The LORD'S presence should not only be a reality in your prayers, but a reality in your factory."
Our Beloved says, "Come away with Me". As I start to leave my place of safety, security and intimacy, I will begin to realize that no matter the circumstance I may be in, I can trust, believe and feel His ever abiding Presence.
I am fearful for my Mother who is in a very bad way in a Nursing Home in Maryland. Is she being treated properly? Probably not considering the skeleton staff they seem to always have. There are fires in the West, floods in the Midwest, and hurricane season is upon us for 5 more months. Banks are starting to fail and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac face the largest bailout package in the history of the planet next week!
But, Psalm 55:22 promises that the righteous will not be moved! Moved means TO FALL INTO DECAY! TO BE EXCEEDINGLY MOVED OFF COURSE!
God promises that we will not decay, we will not fall off course to the extent that we are lost and hopeless. My personal belief is that He brings certain things across our pathway, sometimes several times a day if necessary, to make sure we stay on course! To make sure we do not decay! To make sure that we constantly are examining ourselves against His revealed will for us.
An old song of the faith that came to mind several times this week as I read and watched the news and events of the week unfold, is LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS. It was written in the late 1800's and it is as appropriate today, possibly more so, that when it was penned. The words are below:
Friday, July 4, 2008
AMERICA IS UNDER DIVINE JUDGMENT.
IT IS GOING TO GET MUCH WORSE.
An appropriate passage of Scripture for this July 4, 2008 for our nation of birth is Jeremiah 9:14-24 -
The LORD saith, because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, neither walked therein but have walked in the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; behold I will feed them, even this people with wormwood (poison, a curse) and give them water of gall (poison, venom) to drink.
I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known;
and I will send a sword after them, til I have consumed them. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women that they may come; And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears; and our eye lids gush out with waters.
For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion (AMERICA), How are we spoiled!
We are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out (floods, fires, earthquakes, tornado's hurricanes, bankruptcies). Yet hear the word of the LORD, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbor lamentation.
For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets. Speak, thus saith the LORD. Even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.
* THIS IS OUR DUTY AS ONES WHO KNOW THE HOUR IN WHICH WE LIVE-
" Thus saith the LORD, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
neither let the mighty man glory in his might,
let not the rich man glory in his riches;
But let them that glory, glory in this-
That they understand and know ME, that I AM the LORD which exercises lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight. "
He knows those that are His. We need not fear!
Our citizenship is in Heaven!
When we tire we gain encouragement and strength in the very next verse, " our God quickens all things" ! Strength for the battle comes from Him. Our desire to succeed, our purpose, our being comes from Him. He is responsible for the eternity He has placed in our hearts. He is faithful and true. At the end of the Ages, Faithful and True are two of His names!
He is not only faithful and true when we feel that He is. HE IS, NO MATTER OUR FEELINGS! Jesus promise's He is with us always, even to the end of the earth. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Dispite our feelings He is always here. We walk this earth as eternal beings. Believers have a glorious eternity already dwelling and rising up within their hearts.
When I feel I have fallen short I must remember God sees my ways; He will heal, lead, and restore comforts as I repent. He creates the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to those who at times seem to be afar off. He will heal! (Isaiah 57:18,19) He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed upon Him. I must know Him to be stayed upon Him. I must cast down every vain imagination and anything that exalt itself against my knowledge of God. I must bring into captivity every thought into obedience in Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
I have been reading this morning excerpts from a book I've had for sometime. It delves deeply into spiritual aspects of a Believer's walk in Christ. I can only read a few paragraphs before I am chasing thoughts and verses "like a rabbit" as things quickly come to mind of messages, scriptures, and life experiences. The book is by Watchman Nee. He spent years in Chinese prisons for preaching the gospel when the Communists took over China shortly after WW II.
Brother Nee speaks of the temple of Solomon consisting of Cedar and Cypress (fir) trees. Scripture says that the walls of the temple had cedar in them and the floors had cypress. Many Cypress trees came from an area of Judea called Death City. This area of growth for Cypress trees was used as graveyards. The walls of Solomon's temple consisted in many ways of Cedar trees which are tall, stately and strong trees.
The temple, which was God's habitation on earth in the years before Jesus came in the flesh, in more ways than we will ever know foretold of His nature, His purpose, His ways. He dwelled between the cypress and the cedar. Today we stand on the strong cedar floors, that came from the graveyard, the foundation of His substitutionary death for us. In Solomon's temple the walls of cypress were tall, stately and strong. Our place of standing, our place of rest, the abode in the spirit of God on this planet dwells likewise in us; His spiritual Body. As He did while on earth, we resist all forces that gather against Him to try to ruin His purposes.
One vain imagination I battle quite often is my place as a member of His Body. God has set the members of each one of us in His Body as He sees fit! There are many members, or parts, of a body; but only One Body! The part or place I play is up to Him. ( 1 Corinthians 12:18,20)
Often times, when I have an exceptionally bad season for various reasons, I feel this is evidence that I am out of God's will. I must remember that Yeshua had a very rough time of it while here also! He was mocked, ridiculed, slapped and spit upon. This was not a sign of rejection from the Father; it was a sign of acceptance. It pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief; when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall propser in His hand. (Isaiah 53:10)
In the context of having a "rough time of it" and the effect it has on my senses, the Apostle Paul said the "unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place, and labour, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we enreat; we are made as the filth of the world, and are the off scouring of all things unto this day. (1 Corinthians 4:11)
Could this possibly be one of HIS WAYS? Christ was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.(Isaiah 53) They spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote Him with the palms of their hands. (Matthew 26:67) This pleases the LORD? Do I want to be pleasing to God? In this context?
Bruised, mocked, ridiculed, slapped, spit upon..."For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a Voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Do I have a broken heart like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:15 to say I am of sorrowful spirit and have poured out my soul before the LORD? Is my mindset like King David's when his men broke through the Philistine lines and took a flask of well water for their king; and to have the king pour it out as an offering unto God? Can I pour out my spirit as water to God or do I complain about every circumstance. Is my comfort and pleasure more important than His?
In the coming days I feel terrors will come upon many of us. We are heading into days of which the Prophets could only warn. Days of great darkness are gathering around the earth. Troubles are coming that have never happened on such a scale before. Yeshua warned us. He said this must be before His return. Like Job we will feel that terrors have turned upon us; they pursue our soul as the wind; and our welfare passeth away as a cloud. And now our soul is poured out upon us and days of affliction have taken hold (Job 30:15,16). We need not feel as if we are the first. In a prophecy of Yeshua, Psalm 22 says, "our soul is poured out like water before the LORD. Our soul is poured out like wax; our bones are out of joint, we are as dry as a potsherd." We will have to, like Christ, go without the camp bearing His reproach. We, like Him, will have to suffer outside of the gate. This is from where our sanctification comes! (Hebrews 13:12)
At times, it pleases the LORD to bruise us. Even Christ pleased not Himself (Romans 15:3). Most of the time I pray for immediate deliverance when I suffer from anything! I may be praying for God to rescue me from the very situation that will bring Him pleasure as I suffer with and for Him. He is the most High; the possessor of both heaven and earth. I must yield under His mighty hand having great confidence that He is in total control.
When I falter and fail, I can be confident that a bruised reed He will not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quence; He shall bring forth judgment unto truth; He shall not fail nor be discouraged...(Isaiah 42:3,4) He will not cast me aside! He delights to teach, forgive, instruct and guide.
We can be confident that He will divide with us a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because we have poured out our soul unto death; and are numbered ourselves with the transgressors, because we are of Him tha bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors. ( Isaiah 53:12)
He delights in mercy! His mercies are renewed daily. He gives strength to the humble and weak. Our sacrifices are pleasing to the Father and we live and breath in the knowledge that Christ died for us, and whether we wake or sleep, we will live together with Him! (1 Thessaloninas 5:10).